AB Friday – One Photo Focus Feb 2015

Yes its time again for the AB Friday special edition, One Photo Focus where we all edit the same image in our own unique and special way.

Stacy Fisher hosts this over at Visual Venturing and this is only my second entry in the AB style challenges. With thanks to Manal Ali for supplying this months image.

I found this image intensely challenging, below is the original image after I had edited it and straightened it in LR.  My PS skills were not up to dealing with all the tree branches and after some thought I decided to embrace the After Before concept completely in my image.

ABFeb Base image-

Original image after importing into to LR, basic adjustment and perspective improvements

Post Processing Steps:

1.  Import original raw file into LR, adjust WB to Shady, apply perspective straightening (the auto function is all it needed in LR, its fantastic), vivid preset to improve colour and a bit of twiddling

2.  Open up in PS, and select all the tree except for the top branch and the light pole and buildings on the left and remove all that section.  Select what was remaining and paste to a new layer as a separate selection and remove original layer

3.  Try a few old street building images til I found one I liked, flip it for a better fit and adjust to fit.  Mask new building to the foreground.

OK at this point I completely lost the plot and spent about an hour fluffing around trying to do different things with selections and masks that I had no idea what I was doing LOL.

4.  Stick with original concept and bring in the Ghost Matter texture for the old building part, blend with Difference overlay mode at 61%

5.  Add in All Hell Breaks Loose layer over the top of everything, blended with Multiply mode at 58% and mask out the new building part to retain colour intensity (made it a bit dark)

I confess the white patches in this layer helped hide my not fantastic job at selecting some parts of the image properly 🙂

6.  Add in a Brightness and Contrast adj layer to increase both a bit

My concept for this image was to embrace the After Before concept, where we have the After modern day image all bright and crisp and colourful, and the Before image all faded and damaged, but superimposed as if you could stand there and see both as they had been.

This really stretched my very new and limited PS skills, and isn’t as tidy as I would like and there were things I just couldn’t figure out how to do like a gradient blend of a mask etc. Doing selections was really difficult as I had never tried that before and it was very fiddly!

All comments, tips, tricks and feedback welcome.


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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52 Responses to AB Friday – One Photo Focus Feb 2015

  1. Pingback: ABFriday Week 35: February One Photo Focus | Visual Venturing

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    I really like your treatment. I would never have come up with it, but it works wonderful!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Cee, I wanted to do something original and found the composition a bit challenging and wasn’t originally going to have a go. Then a museum in Australia made most of their digital image archives available online for free, and when I was looking through old bw images the germ of an idea appeared…..

  3. suej says:

    I love it! I am very lazy with regards to photoshop so have no ability to do any of the things you talk about here!!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Hey Sue and thanks, I can only thank the PS Artistry course I got into over Xmas, as it taught me all these things and I have come to love working with layers and masks for the flexibility it gives you. Still much to learn tho!

      • suej says:

        Layers and masks is what I need to learn, and have thought I would for the last 5 or more years!!

      • suej says:

        BTW – meant to ask, who is the course by/what is the exact title…might look it up

      • lensaddiction says:

        Sebastian Michaels PS ARTISTRY FINEART GRUNGE is the name of the course. Note I think the full price is fairly expensive, I got it at a significant discount but I totally think it’s worth every cent and you can see the massive difference in my work since xmas when I bought the course ☺️

      • suej says:

        I wondered if it was that one…very expensive! Perhaps ther might be another discount one day!!

      • lensaddiction says:

        Hopefully 🙂 I got it through DPS – Digital Photography School – you can sign up for their newsletters and special deals

      • suej says:

        Oh, right – thanks. I’ll take a look.

  4. Stacey, I just LOVE what you have done and think you did a superb job with selections despite your “new and limited” PS skills. I would love to be at your level! Now, a favor. The link I sent to my post is doing weird things in some people’s posts and yours is one of them (it’s a Mac/PC issue, as I never had this happen on my PC). Could you update the link to today’s post to the shortlink: http://wp.me/p14eaH-17H. Thanks so much! And thanks for once again sharing your creativity with 1PF 🙂

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Stacy, fixed the link now, yes it was a challenging image for me and taught me lots. I hope the next one is a bit less fiddly LOL

  5. Lynne Ayers says:

    I think you did a great job following your vision, Stacey. I’m with Sue, I have no ability to do what you have done so well.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Lynne, I didnt originally have a vision, the tree branches and lamppost had me completely stumped as to how to work around them. Once I removed them it then became a question of filling the void and making that work was HARD 🙂

  6. coolquilting says:

    wow- such a clever edit!! I love the names of the layers you added..were these from PS add-ons???

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thankyou, the names of the texture layers I used were the names the guy who made them gave them. There are some wonderful artists who make textures to use in PS available free online so it seemed the right thing to do using the names he gave them, and I liked the names too 🙂

  7. I like the idea and understand fluffing around for an hour. The final result really does play on the idea of after and before. Very nice.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Hey Ben and thanks, yes in all honesty it was more like 2 hrs, in fact I completely lost track of time and spent a whole afternoon in total LOL Yes my execution is a bit rough in places but Im glad the overall concept was approachable 🙂

  8. katieprior says:

    Great edit Stacey, I like your idea, it works really well. I especially like the way the added layer wraps round the buildings, it’s not a perfect fit, but I think that works better, it looks very much like a photo collage.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Katie, I originally didnt have the buildings on the RH side of the street there but then it left this enormous blank white sky instead and when I tried to deal to that it went horribly wrong LOL I wanted the two layers to blend into each other at the central edge a bit better but had no idea how to make that happen, something more to learn!

  9. Cool work Stacey. Love the treatment you gave it

  10. Robyn G says:

    I think this is great Stacey and I really like your Before After concept!!

  11. Hi Stacey, I love your final image, the concept of after-before in one image is great. we are all learning and this is a great project to stretch our skills, and learn from each other! wonderful work.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Yes SO MUCH learning went on here, mostly teaching me the things I didn’t actually know which was a bit frustrating, but I went all in with this one for sure 🙂

  12. desleyjane says:

    Stacey, this is awesome, what a great idea. Love it.

  13. Great job and I really like the result. Really impressed. MM 🍀

  14. Emilio Pasquale says:

    I love your comment that you “completely lost the plot”! That happens to me often! 🙂 But I love what you achieved by taking the After-Before challenge so literally. What a fantastic finished product!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Emilio, yes I did indeed totally lose it, in my hard drive are about 10 saved variations where I kept trying new things and FAILING to make it work LOL Got a little out of hand so I took a mental break. Glad you like the final outcome 🙂

      • dogear6 says:

        There’s no other way to figure it out though except to keep playing! I don’t think you’re the only one who lost some time wandering around.


  15. Anna Cull says:

    I love this image, Stacey. The two photos work well together. The concept is clear and the composition is engaging. I especially like reading the ‘one way’ sign backwards! Very clever : )

    • lensaddiction says:

      LOL I flipped the image and never noticed the effect on signs, have to remember that for next time! I’m pleased my vision was clear, my execution suffered due to lack of appropriate skills a bit 😊

      • Anna Cull says:

        I’m glad you didn’t notice the sign because you might’ve been tempted to change it — and I really like it ‘that’ way ; )

      • lensaddiction says:

        I taught myself to read back to front and upside down writing once, so I saw it but didn’t process it right because *i* could read it , glad you liked it as a touch of whimsy ☺️

  16. dogear6 says:

    I really liked how you experimented with the textures and other building image. This really made it into something unique and very good looking, like a reminder of how the past might have been with this scene. It was definitely worth your effort!


    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Nancy, that Before and After concept in the one space was what my vision eventually settled on. It was a bit of a battle to bring it into being tho!

  17. Bastet says:

    This is such an interesting edit .. lovely the touch of an artist without a doubt!

  18. KatrinaK says:

    This is a really interesting combination. When I first looked at it I couldn’t decide whether I liked it or not. Upon thinking about it some more, I’ve realized that what doesn’t quite sit right with me is the lower left corner. It feels to me like a gray blob is consuming the modern photo there. The modern buildings in the distance cut off too abruptly for my taste. Or maybe they don’t cut off abruptly enough. I think I’d like the composition better if those buildings obviously tapered off into the distance or if they cut off sooner, with a nice clean edge instead of the barely distinguishable distant building making an uneven edge. Apart from that corner, I really like the way you’ve matched the old buildings to the new and how it all flows together.

  19. kcinaz says:

    I love. love. love. what you did. Great creative work and outside of the box.

  20. Manal says:

    Very interesting take on the image, lovely to see the creativity in this!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thankyou, it drove me quite batty but was a lot of fun to try and create and I learned heaps 🙂 So many different variations, it was a great image for the challenge.

  21. I am a sucker for this kind of work and you did a wonderful job.

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